International Women’s Day
Najat Belkacem Vallaud, Minister of Women’s Rights
At both domestic and international level, France is fully committed to promote women’s rights and to fight against violence and discrimination, which is a priority of the external action of France in accordance with its international commitments. At the United Nations level, France has contributed to the adoption of numerous resolutions strengthening the protection of women in conflict and the participation of women in peace negotiations and decision-making. Since December 2008 and the launch of the Gender Action Plan by the Secretary of State for Cooperation and Francophonie, gender equality has become a top-priority of the French cooperation : in collaboration with numerous partners, including the UN Women, France supports and engages in many activities on all continents, in the fight against violence (€ 1.5 million), the school enrollment of girls (€ 3.3m), the economic empowerment of women (€ 3.3m) or the reduction of maternal mortality (€ 500 million from 2011 to 2015).
In South Africa, the Embassy of France supports the government and civil society in their efforts to strengthen women’s rights. In a country where many women are victims of sexual and domestic violence, France supports the association Masimanyane, founded in 1995, which assists women who are victims of domestic violence ; the organization contributes to the fight against violence through various training activities, awareness and advocacy. Through a grant of € 40,000, the Embassy supported the training of women’s groups about their rights and legal instruments to enforce them. More than 500 women from 13 villages in the province of Eastern Cape have benefited from this training since 2011. This project has enabled many women to not only know their rights, but also to feel more confident to be able to make requests to the local government and thus contribute to the development of their community. A dozen of these women traveled to East London to present their work to the representatives of the provincial parliament.
More information about French cooperation in the field of gender and gender / women click here.
More information about Masimanyane click here.